Here at NW Works we believe everyone should have the opportunity to work. This mindset has guided us since our inception in 1970 when we first got our start as “Northwestern Workshop”. NW Works is located at the “Top of Virginia”, in the city of Winchester, which is nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
Work is an important part of most people’s lives, and perhaps even more so for individuals with disabilities: work is one way for them to lead fulfilling lives – to interact with co-workers, to build self esteem, to earn their own paycheck, and perhaps most importantly, to build an identity as a contributor to their community rather than someone who solely relies on others.
NW Works provides training and employment to over 145 individuals who typically would not have the opportunity to work. Each trainee is given an individualized assessment and Individualized Service Plan/Person Centered Plan so that they can identify and reach their employment goals. All of our workers* are residents of the area, and have one or more long-term disabilities ranging from intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, physical and/or emotional challenges. We work with individuals from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds who are 17 years of age or older.
Typically our workers live in Winchester or the surrounding counties (primarily the counties of Frederick and Clarke) in residential programs, with their parents/family members, or live independently either with or without the assistance of community programs and services.
Our service delivery continuum includes short and long range, individualized planning, a full array of support and classroom training, on- and off-site paid training, and job development services.
NW Works, Inc. is managed in much the same way as a conventional for-profit business, but with an emphasis on the “double bottom line” to be both people- and business-focused.
The NW Works’ Staff includes Administration, Rehabilitation Services, Production, Supported Employment Services, and Offsite Services. The ratio of staff to workers is indicative of the degree of disability of the population we serve.
*In 2001 our trainees voted on how they would like to be addressed and they chose the term “workers” vs. “consumers” or “clients.”